The low-carb craze has apparently peaked, leaving food manufacturers and health professionals to ponder what the next big trend will be - and some are speculating that fibre will be front and centre.
Carb-wise consumers and food manufacturers are already paying closer attention to fibre, in the form of "net carbs." The net carb calculation is essentially new math for nutrition - the total grams of carbohydrates minus those carbs that don't contribute to caloric total (dietary fibre).
A trend towards recognizing the benefits of fibre would have consumers adding their daily fibre grams towards a positive, healthy total, rather than subtracting them from total carbs.
Singing the praises of fibre would certainly give carb-based product manufacturers a boost. Bread and pasta makers who have been striving to reduce the net carbs in their products could instead focus on increasing fibre content through the use of whole grains, which are naturally fibre-rich. Revisions currently underway on America's Food Guide Pyramid and Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating could encourage this trend. An American advisory panel has recommended that people eat at least three servings of whole-grain foods each day.
The percentage of new beverages and foods in North America making high-fibre claims is on the rise - up to 4.2% in 2004, after remaining steady at 2.5% in the previous four years.
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